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Urban adventuring
posted by John : April 9, 2014


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I see it! I see it!


No, we aren't becoming urban adventurers. We're not going to spend all our time at Discovery Park and museum-style National Park sites. We're wilderness adventurers and we always will be, but sometimes there's adventure to be found in the city.

This urban adventure began with a need to return the snowshoes to Tubbs. They were kind enough to loan them to me so we could take the Girl Scouts to Gold Creek Pond. Even though I've got quite a collection thanks to my ambassador role not even I could outfit the group that came out.

Tubbs is located just south of downtown in a deceptively small building. I say "deceptively" because it's freaking huge! It houses the business and development side of the operation, but also serves as the international distribution center. It's so big they have bicycles for their warehouse staff to get from one end to the other. It's more than a quarter mile long. Looking down the long rows of boxes upon boxes I expected to see the Ark of the Covenant stashed in a corner. The kids were suitably impressed.

Kelsey, the Ambassador Wrangler (not her real title, but I bet she feels like that some of the time), toured me and the kids around. (Don't tell the kids, but I'd already had a tour from Stephanie who runs the Romp to Stomp and other events.) We saw all the crazy facilities and workspaces and everyone agreed it looked like a far more interesting place to work than my office.

I was most interested in the development aspect. I love getting to see where snowshoes might be headed in the future even if it has a multi-year lead time. The kids didn't really care about that so much. They liked the trampoline. Yeah. And a skate park. Did I mention they thought it would be an awesome place to work? I'm kind of thinking that, too.

From Tubbs we headed downtown to the Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit National Historical Park. (That's a mouthful even when you're typing it.) There were several important aspects to the park. #1 They had a Junior Ranger program. #2 They had a Junior Ranger program. And #3 They had a Junior Ranger program. As you can guess, the kids are kind of Junior Ranger crazy right now. This would be there fifth badge. (Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Mt. Rainier, Grand Canyon, Montezuma Castle).

This was the first historical park we'd been to and I was worried it would be boring for the kids. All three of them were really into it. I guess they are all old enough. It brings a tear to my eye until Henry declares the thing he liked most was finding the mouse in one of the exhibits. (It's there, but you have to look for it.) The big win for the kids were the embossing machines and the little passport you got when you entered. We also stamped our letterboxing journal since it's becoming a sort of record of where we've adventured.

Our final stop on our urban adventure was at everyone's favorite store: REI. I took the flagship store for granted when I worked only a couple of blocks away. I love the quaintness of our local store, but nothing can compare to the scale of the flagship. The kids were agog at the cool new gear, but I was on a mission to get a new coat. My poor Arc'teryx fleece hardly zips up anymore, is torn, frayed, and would prefer to never go up Mailbox again. I was looking for a direct replacement, but instead wound up with an OR Revel Jacket (REI affiliate link) that will be waterproof and light enough for a gnarly Spring morning on Mailbox. Bonus: It was ridiculously cheap when I applied my gift cards, discount, and dividend.

Although we didn't get particularly muddy or sweaty while adventuring downtown it was good to break the mold for at least a day. The kids hardly ever get out of our valley unless it's for ballet or ice skating so I'm going to see this as education. I wonder if it's tax deductible...

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